Subway tiles can sometimes be perceived as the safe option for renovators, creating an inoffensive background while other elements in the room take the focus.
But these tiles are incredibly versatile, and not only because of how creative you can get with how they’re laid.
Beaumont Tiles’ Strategic designer Vanessa Thompson, said recent evolutions of subways incorporate dynamic patterns, vibrant colours and plank tile concepts.
“New season interior design trends are challenging the white, clinical brick bond looks of the subway tile, catapulting it into a world of colour, exploring new depths in patterns and layouts,” she said.
“From Herringbone, Step Ladder, Cross Hatch and Stacked, the styling possibilities of the subway tile are endless as are the style narratives they help illustrate.”
Herringbone – 45 degrees, 90 degrees and horizontal
Whether it’s for the floor, a kitchen splashback or a bathroom wall, a herringbone patterned subway tile can turn your next DIY project into a prominent feature that creates depth and theatre to the overall project.
“The ‘Herringbone 45 degrees, 90 degrees and Horizontal herringbone’ layering styles create the illusion of movement throughout the space,” said Ms Thompson.
If you want to make an even bigger statement, says Ms Thompson, choose a contrasting grout, like an alluring space blue or delicate jade green.
The step ladder pattern is like the herringbone, resembling dynamic movement and direction. “This unique layering option can make any space feel bigger and is a great statement piece,” said Ms Thompson.
“The step ladder is the perfect choice for a niche space in the bathroom – particularly the shower – but would also create a dynamic and vibrant kitchen splashback.”
This versatile pattern is a unique combination of horizontal and vertical stacking and perfect for the geometrically brave!
“Though the subway tiles are simply layered at 90-degree angles, grout plays a huge role in transforming the ‘cross hatch’ layout into a beautiful feature or focal point,” said Ms Thompson.
“Electing for monochrome coloured tiles in a cross-hatch layout is perfect for contrasting with leathers and prints – the ultimate eclectic bohemian vibe.”
Brick Bond – 45 degree stack, vertical and horizontal
From the New York Subways of the 1920s to modern houses of today, brick bonding is everywhere – It’s simple and symmetrical.
“This unique way of layering captures dimension and flow, and any space can be revamped with a brick bonded subway tile,” said Ms Thompson.
“Choosing a variety of different colours or mixing your finishes like satin and gloss with a bold coloured grout is daring and fun, and a perfect way to change or accentuate your style.”
Why not pair your vibrant and colourful layout with black or neutral homewares for a playful and retro style with a modern twist.
Stacked: Vertical, Vertical Alternating, Horizontal, Horizontal Alternating
For a safe and more traditional layout variation, DIYers can’t go past stacked tiles.
“The vertically stacked layout is perfect for making ceilings feel taller, and the horizontal stack has the same principle, however with widening capabilities,” said Ms Thompson.
“Mix things up a little with the vertical and horizontal stacked alternating layouts, which simply means you offset the rows. Creating a modern look, this layout is great for full tile walls or as a statement wall in the kitchen.”